A total of 94 studios have been selected to take part in this year’s Spring Fling – Scotland’s premier open studio weekend. 

The event takes place from 25 to 27 May across the beautiful region of Dumfries and Galloway.

Spring Fling is a much loved feature of the country’s arts and cultural calendar, attracting more than 10,000 visitors a year from across Scotland, the rest of the UK and overseas – and generating over £1.2 million for the regional economy.

It’s a chance to meet high quality painters, original printmakers, ceramicists, jewellers and glassmakers, wood and metal workers, photographers in the places where they live and work.

Joanna Macaulay, Events and Exhibitions Manager for Upland which runs Spring Fling, said: “We have an amazing range of artists and makers taking part this year – really underling why Spring Fling has become such a popular and successful part of Scotland’s arts scene.

“As ever it’s a chance to meet some remarkable people, visit some extraordinary homes and studios and explore one of the most beautiful parts of Scotland.

“This year Spring Fling will be more family friendly than ever and we will also be running a whole series of classes and workshops either side of the event for those who would like to learn from our artists.”  

Many exhibitors are well known at home and abroad such as glassmaker Amanda Simmons and slipware makers Fitch and McAndrew from Corsock, award-winning wildlife artist Lisa Hooper, of Port William, as well as Kirkcudbright textile designer Morag Macpherson and willow weaver Lizzie Farey. 

From elsewhere in the region there are the visual artist Bea Last of Kirkgunzeon, Harry Potter book illustrator Clare Melinsky, based near Thornhill and Waterbeck husband and wife Heather and Colin Blanchard – a painter and printmaker.

As ever Spring Fling will be welcoming fresh talent, with 13 new faces. Some, like David Rushton in Sanquhar, who creates scale models of building interiors, or abstract painter Glenda Waterworth (one of three artists in Drummore near Stranraer), are well-established.  

Others are in the early stages of their careers.  In 2019 this will include Jordan Chisholm (performance artist) and Sarah Rogers (jewellery) as part of Upland’s Emerge bursary scheme, which provides business and arts mentoring.

There will also be Jennifer Hastie (mixed media) and Heather Spicer who are benefiting from Upland’s New Graduates Scheme to support people during the transition from studenthood to career.

Spring Fling also makes space each year for artists from neighbouring regions – including Cumbria, Northern Ireland, Ayrshire and the Borders as well as Springbacks, who have connections with the region but are based elsewhere. For 2019 there will be mixed media artist Kate Mink who now lives in California.

A pop up exhibition is planned from 5 to 13 April at The Oven in Dumfries to give a foretaste of all that’s on offer. 

An exciting and inspiring public artwork, called the WaterOrgan, will quite literally be launched as part of the Spring Fling weekend.

This year’s Spring Fling is supported by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate.

Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events for VisitScotland, said:“EventScotland is delighted to once again be supporting Spring Fling through our Beacon Programme, with funding going towards public artwork WaterOrganand the event’s studio workshops. 

“Scotland is the perfect stage for cultural events, and it’s great to see such a strong line-up this year, with artists and makers hailing from across Dumfries and Galloway and beyond.”

For further details on Spring Fling please visit www.spring-fling.co.uk.


Notes for editors 

Spring Fling

  • Spring Fling is Scotland’s premier visual art and contemporary craft open studios event covering all Dumfries and Galloway, South West Scotland. It is the flagship annual event of Upland CIC.
  • Last year 99% of visitors described their Spring Fling experience as excellent or good.
  • The studios welcomed over 31,000 unique studio visits during the three-day event in 2018.
  • More than half (56%) of visitors came from outwith the region – underlying its value to the cultural tourism industry.
  • Together they generated £1.2 million for the regional economy.
  • For further details on Spring Fling please visit www.spring-fling.co.ukor contact the team on info@spring-fling.co.uk
  • This year, a new joint marketing partnership with Dumfries & Galloway Arts Festival will be launched. More information to follow.

About Upland

Upland CIC (Community Interest Company) supports artists and makers based in, and with connections to, the region. It will delivers, events, training, networking, support and opportunities as part of a year-round programme to benefit the region, its artists, communities and economy. Upland CIC runs the annual Spring Fling contemporary visual art and craft open studios weekend in Dumfries and Galloway. It will work closely with other arts bodies in the region to further-strengthen the sector. Upland is based at Gracefield Arts Centre in Dumfries andexists to:

  • produce and deliver festivals, events, and experimental projects of the highest quality
  • nurture an environment where artistic excellence thrives and grows
  • inspire and educate a wide range of audiences, customers and clients to understand, celebrate, be actively engaged in and supportive of visual art and craft practice
  • raise the profile of visual artists and makers locally, nationally and internationally fulfilling a crucial role in the culture and tourism of Dumfries and Galloway
  • build strategic partnerships at regional, national and international level
  • maintain a financially sound and adaptively resilient organisation
  • use, and encourage the use of, innovative and emerging digital technology
  • work to the benefit the local economy and the sustainability of local communities.

Its funders are Creative Scotland, D&G Council, Holywood Trust, The William Grant Foundation, ASWT, Barfill.  

Upland is very happy to help journalists. Contact us and we can set up interviews, provide pictures and photo opportunities. In some circumstances we can offer ready-written copy. For media information contact Matthew Shelley on 07786 704299 or at Mjhshelley@hotmail.co.uk or call Upland on 01387 213 218.

About EventScotland  

EventScotland is working to make Scotland the perfect stage for events. By developing an exciting portfolio of sporting and cultural events EventScotland is helping to raise Scotland’s international profile and boost the economy by attracting more visitors. For further information about EventScotland, its funding programmes and latest event news visit www.EventScotland.org. Follow EventScotland on Twitter @EventScotNews

EventScotland is a team within VisitScotland’s Events Directorate, the national tourism organisation which markets Scotland as a tourism destination across the world, gives support to the tourism industry and brings sustainable tourism growth to Scotland. For more information about VisitScotland see www.visitscotland.org or for consumer information on Scotland as a visitor destination see www.visitscotland.com